If you want to avoid hitting a drone, this new AI-enabled system might help

Fast Company by Melissa Locker

News Article | March 15, 2018

Drones are tiny flying devices that can lead to big headaches for commercial airlines, the flying taxis of the future, and even those responsible for national security—as drones simply fly around, Golden Snitch-like, avoiding detection and capture.

A new AI-enabled technology might be able to help.

Airspace awareness company Fortem Technologies announced today that it has closed a $15 million Series A funding round led by DCVC (Data Collective), with participation from Boeing and other aeronautically minded companies. The company will use the funds to build “the world’s most compact, high-performance radar system,” which will deliver a real-time data stream of the location and velocity of all airborne objects, including objects smaller than a soda can that are traveling at high velocity.

Fortem’s TrueView radar system reportedly gives aircraft a 360-degree field of view that can simultaneously track and detect thousands of aircraft, even those beyond the visual line of sight. The radar system is so small (1.5 pounds) that it can be deployed on even small aircraft, or you know, flying taxis. According to a press release, “these systems can scale from a single building to an entire metropolitan area” to help make sure that drone no-fly zones stay no-fly.

Boeing is investing in the project because “proven, powerful and compact radar systems” are part of “Boeing’s commitment to the responsible introduction of future autonomous air vehicles.” It’s all part of Boeing’s plan to create that Jetsons-inspired future that we all dream of.

About Fortem Technologies

Fortem Technologies is the leader in airspace awareness, security and defense. Through an advanced ecosystem of distributed radar, AI at the Edge, deep sensor integration, and autonomous drone capture, Fortem monitors, protects and defends the world’s venues, infrastructures, cities and regions from dangerous or malicious drone threats. The same ecosystem is accelerating the safety of the world’s airspace for urban air mobility. Based in Pleasant Grove, Utah, the company is privately held and backed by Boeing, Signia Venture Partners, DCVC, Mubadala Investment Company and others.

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